November 19

Improper Word Usage: A Rant on “Apocalyptic”

reading-book-by-candlelightEvery so often, like today, I see something written that just makes me so annoyed I decide to vent on it.  Today’s vent is on the use of the word “apocalyptic” to describe weather events that are anything but apocalypic.

To understand the rant, let’s look at the definition of apocalyptic:

  1. describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world.
    “the apocalyptic visions of ecologists”
    1. resembling the end of the world; momentous or catastrophic.
      “the struggle between the two countries is assuming apocalyptic proportions”
      synonyms: doomsday, doom-laden, ominous, portentous; More

    2. of or resembling the biblical Apocalypse.
      “apocalyptic imagery”

Pretty self explanatory. Something can be described as being apocalyptic if it is bringing about the complete and utter destruction of the world we live in.

A snow storm, no matter how much of epic proportions it is, is not apocalyptic.  Sure, it might be the end of some people’s worlds (you know, if they die during the snow storm because help couldn’t’ get to them or the snow storm caused something to collapse and kill them), but it is definitely NOT world ending.

Yet, that is how a time-lapse video posted over at MotherJones is described:

“The video below, from Buffalo-based producer Joseph DeBenedictis, shows yesterday’s apocalyptic storm sweeping across the city. The insane snowfall was brought on by something called the “lake effect,” which could grow more severe with global warming…”

Note the phrase I purposely bolded.  The storm was not apocalyptic.  It didn’t resemble the end of the world – it resembled six feet of snow.  Monumental, record-breaking, perhaps even extreme or deadly snow amounts could have been used instead of “apocalyptic storm”. There were many other word choices that could have been used that would have described the storm better than apocalyptic.


November 1

Nov. 1 is here and NaNoWrimo is Upon Us

I mentioned this on one of the NaNoWrimo groups about how I plan to do counting for my novels, but decided to extend this even further.  To demonstrate, I have pictures.  Pictures are the awesome.

This is my day-planner for tracking writing.

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Nice and easy to put stickers/notes in.

2014-10-31 18.43.42Then I picked up some sparkly shiny stickers.  But instead of just one type of stickers, I got two types – stars and spearmints (see below).  What I plan to do is track not only work on my novel (and subsequently NaNo) with the sparkly stickers (on sticker is 1,000 words) but I also plan to track everything I write, like these blog posts and the other blog posts I got behind on the last couple of weeks and anything and everything else I write to see just how many words a day I churn out.  I realize I write way more than I write fiction and I think it’s only fair to track everything.  However, the stickers for the non-novel will be the spearmint shaped ones with small stickers being 1,000 words, big stickers being 5,000 words.  That will give me a better idea of how much I write all the time instead of just occassionally.  The book goes through July of next year, so it will be interesting to see where things lie by then.

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Oh!  And if you want to follow me

Now, off to write and perhaps get some word count for Nano in tonight.